As a respiratory therapist and asthma educator, I applaud U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, for standing up for public health, transparency and the credibility of our scientific leaders by opposing two bills that came up for a vote last week in Congress: the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 and the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015.

These two bills are sneak attacks designed to undermine Environmental Protection Agency clean-air safeguards by eliminating entire bodies of peer-reviewed science from consideration and creating a special place for polluters on the EPA’s science advisory panels.

The bills would not only make it more difficult for the agency to implement critical healthy air standards, but also would give unprecedented access to scientists with financial ties to polluters to serve on the Science Advisory Board, which advises the EPA on the science needed to protect our health.

I thank Rep. Pingree for standing up against these bills and urge Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King to do the same. I hope to see continued leadership in defending the health of Mainers and all Americans.

It is more important than ever to show that America’s health is non-negotiable, and the people of Maine are lucky to have an advocate in Congress with the backbone to defend it.

Rhonda Vosmus